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How to Identify Birds

My recent post here about my love/hate relationship with Slaty-backed Gull, got me thinking about being a birder. “Birder” is a pretty wide net, but I think the one thing—or a main thing—that defines a birder is the desire to identify the birds we see.

From there, many other forms of inquiry and enjoyment may [read more…]

It’s Complicated.

Whether we realize it or not, we birders develop relationships with the birds we seek. Sometimes it can be a species, or it can be a family or whole group of families.

Take for example the person who loves to spend frozen hours working through a massive collection of loafing gulls, but cannot abide “warbler [read more…]

Hayward vs Komito: A Look at the Playing Field

At the end of 1998, when Sandy Komito logged 745 species (+ 3 provisional) in one year, the common wisdom was that the record could never be broken.

Why? Because Attu Island, the furthest-west piece of land in the ABA area (so far west it’s within a few miles of being the furthest-east bit of [read more…]

ABA Pribilofs Rarity Hunt Wrapup

“That’s the way it is with jackpot birding.”

ABA Events czar George Armistead and I were discussing the recently concluded Rarity Hunt on St. Paul Island, Alaska. As with all migration birding, it’s all about the weather.

“You had beautiful weather, too bad about the birds”, he continued.

Well, not really. I had the trip [read more…]

#ABArare — Common Redstart — St. Paul Island, Alaska

The dynamic duo of arctic birding guides, Doug Gochfeld and Scott Schuette, discovered an ABA code 5 Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), on St. Paul Island, AK on the afternoon of October 8, the first time this species has been discovered in the ABA area.

Common Redstart is a common woodland breeding species across most of [read more…]

Secret Handshake

Greg Neise on what we all know as birders… [read more…]

The Best Christmas Count

Sunday, December 18, 1977. The week had started out dreadfully cold in the Chicago area. It was -12° during count week, and there was a good amount of snow on the ground. In the days running up to the count, a warm front pushed in, bringing some more snow with it, and temperatures that climbed [read more…]

How to Use the Intertubes, Part 1: Links

Keep 'em short and sweet

I would like to introduce myself. When you click over to ABA Birding News and send a comment or a question, I'm the guy who gets it. Since mid-August I've received nearly 1,000 messages from people reporting glitches, making suggestions (thank you!), or offering praise (double thank you!). So—having now [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: October 19, 2012

In many parts of the ABA area, October and November are the most exciting weeks of the year. Young birds and post-breeding adults wander, get pushed by winds and vagrants are on everyone’s mind. The weather this past week was again dominated by the Greenland block, a warm high-pressure system that sets up over the [read more…]

Long Live Lister!

It's been said that listing is the heart-and-soul of the ABA. The roots. The base. There's a lot of truth to that, even though the ABA is much, much more. Conservation efforts like Birder's Exchange. Education efforts like the Young Birder Program, and of course, the fine publications like Birding, Winging It, and this blog.

[read more…]